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Guernsey Launches QROPS Masterclasses

Friday, July 30, 2010

Following the success of previous topical coverage, Guernsey Finance has announced that it plans to reexamine Qualifying Recognized Overseas Pension Schemes (QROPS) at ‘masterclasses’ to be held in Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham, in the United Kingdom, in September and October.

Peter Niven, Chief Executive of Guernsey Finance – the promotional agency for the island’s finance industry, said: “Our two seminars in London were extremely well attended and we received very positive feedback from delegates who showed a real thirst for knowledge on the subject. Now we’re looking to build on these by rolling out similar seminars across other key financial centres in the UK where we believe there is latent demand for quality information.”

“We’ll have a panel of experts on hand at each event to take the audience right through from the foundation stages to the very latest thinking on QROPS such as recent developments like the introduction of QNUPS. They will be tackling a wide range of issues, including some of the common myths associated with these pension schemes and of course there will be a chance for the audience to have their questions answered by Guernsey and UK practitioners.”

The event will include an update on the work by the Guernsey Association of Pensions Providers (GAPP) to establish a code of practice for its members. A working group is in the process of drafting guidelines and it is hoped that a draft will be issued to GAPP members for consultation around the time of the autumn seminar series.

Panellists at the events will include Richard Green, the Deputy Director of Income Tax for the States of Guernsey; Adrian Howe, the Pensions Director at Marlborough Pension Trustees, and Stuart Place, the Marketing Director of Argyll Investment Services.

Also joining the sessions will be Richard Garrod, formerly Head of Tax in Manchester at accountancy firm Mazars and now a Director of financial services firm Confiance in Guernsey; Jo Summers, Director at the London-based PWT Advice; and Liz Hinchliffe, Pensions Technical Manager at Pinsent Masons LLP.

Niven added: “Since the introduction of the QROPS regime in 2006 Guernsey has become the leading jurisdiction providing this product. A key reason is the security that Guernsey offers – we continue to be proactive in ensuring that our schemes retain approval by HMRC.”

“This strong relationship with HMRC is backed up by the advantages offered by Guernsey schemes, such as the flexibility in tax planning, investment choice and benefit drawdown, as well as the experience and expertise of service providers and the island’s reputation for legislation and regulation of the highest standards.”

“Attending this seminar provides a great opportunity to hear from both Guernsey and UK experts, ask them questions and meet face to face with local service providers from the island.”